The New York Rangers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 6-2 in Game 7 to take the second round series. They will now go towards the Eastern Conference final to face the two-time champions and current Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning. This is the Rangers first appearance in this stage of Stanley Cup semifinals since 2015 in which they also played the Lightning.
Goalie Igor Shesterkin made 36 saves and forward Chris Kreider scored twice, and defenseman Adam Fox, center Ryan Strome and center Filip Chytil, and forward Andrew Copp each added goals for New York.
The Eastern Conference Finals begin on Wednesday evening on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers have won all three of their match against the Lightning during the regular season and had Shesterkin in goal during each victory.
The Rangers scored first and held off their opponents Carolina Hurricanes throughout the game as they won the Game Seven. Chris Kreider scored twice in the 6-2 win , bringing his career total to 15 goal in games that are elimination. This is pretty impressive (and one of the best goals in all time record). The first time, the road team was victorious in the game. Carolina was 7-0 in home games this postseason (but only 0-6 in road games).
After the victory, the Rangers will now play their opponents the Lightning at the ECF match, which will be a repeat that was played in 2015. But don’t expect to see a lot of players in the current Ranger players to be concerned what happens in the series since Kreider is the sole player to be present during the entire series. He scored 2 goals and two assists in the game. Ryan McDonagh was also on the New York squad (he had 2 assists, 1 goal) and is now returning back to his home in the Big Apple as an adversary.
During the regular season , the Lightning lost 0-2-1 to the Rangers however, two of their losses came during the time that Tampa Bay was dealing with COVID problems during the holiday season. Anthony Cirelli, Erik Cernak and Vasilevskiy were all absent in New Year’s Eve, where they lost 4-3 in a shoot-out loss. The three returned for the following game and lost 4-0 a couple of nights later, where Shesterkin blocked 38 shots. Their last meeting took place in mid-March when Mika Zibanejad scored in the 16th seconds remaining to win 2-1. Shesterkin made 28 saves on 29 shots in that. The netminder of the future made 90 saves on 94 shots in the game against the Lightning during the season opener. It’s something to watch out for.
The series begins on Wednesday.